Pixels … Size Matters

Thoughts from this side of the camera.

Recently a client asked me to give them a digital photo sized at 300 pixels.  This request is meaningless.  When we speak of pixels we usually mean the number of pixels in an inch.  Without knowing the size of the reproduced image, it is impossible to supply the requested photo.  Example: Asking for a photo 300 pixels at 10 inches makes more sense. By adding the other dimension one can calculate the file size. (8 x 10 inches at 300 pixels creates a file size of 7.2 megs.)  This will print very nicely on most glossy stocks like magazines etc.  It is overkill for newspaper reproduction, however.  Knowing all the details like where and how large the photo will be used insures the proper file size necessary for good reproduction.

Some guidelines are:  Glossy Stock Color Printing – 300 pixels per inch at the printed size.  Newspapers require around 200 pixels per inch at the printed size.  

Below is an example of two same sized photos with different pixel dimensions. 


Notice the difference in how the images appear. Size matters in in Pixels.

2013 / The Year of Giving Back

There is a great organization out there called Help Portraits.  Check out their information at: http://help-portrait.com/about/our-mission/  Basically thousands of photographers agree to donate their time on a given day each year to provide free of charge, beautiful portraits to people who would ordinarily not be able to afford one.  I plan on participating in this event this coming year.  As photographers we are so lucky to have been give a talent that can provide both a creative outlet and financial and social rewards.  This is a wonderful way to give something back and say thanks for the benefits we all enjoy from this amazing way of life.

I was unable to take part this last year but I did have a chance to do something similar.  The Twin Oaks Community Services organization asked If I would volunteer to do a fashion shoot for six teen age girls living in a group home in our area.  They wanted to provide these teens with a total makeover and give them a really special Christmas present. Volunteers from Albert’s Limo Service, Moxie Blue Salon and Twin Oaks gave the girls an amazing experience all topped off by a fashion shoot for each after they had completed their makeover.  A first time experience for the girls, and one they will remember for a long time.  I can’t tell you how happy I was to see the expressions on their faces when they viewed the previews on the back of my camera.  I was truly lucky to have been involved in this event.  In this case I received so much more than I gave.  I can’t show you the results out of respect for these girl’s privacy.  A few photos general photos from the event are below.






Blair Phillips LR-2 Light Cart

Hey – Its been too long between blogs and I have tons of stuff I want to share with you all.

Will try to catch up in a few closely spaced blogs so I can get current before the end of the year.

First I want to tell you about a great new product I’ve been using.  I saw it demonstrated last year at the PPA convention and have been using it myself now for a while.  Love it.  Its called the LR-2 light cart and it simply incorporates your ket light, battery and camera bag all in one really nice, easy to move around unit.  I work as a one-man-band and moving lights from one location to another can be a real problem.  Contact Blair Phillips at http://www.blairphillipsphotography.com to learn more.  Take a look at my simple set up using the LR-2.ImageImageImage

OnOne has released its latest software upgrade to PhotoSuite 6 making it 6.1.  I usually don’t upgrade for a while seeing that most upgrades bring with them a barrel full of problems.  However, this time they have it right the first time.  Major improvements have been made to the masking panel.  Below is a composite I made this afternoon.  subject shot on studio background, placed inside old factory.  I made the factory background a tad on the blue side to contrast with the subject.  Oh, and as a tribute to Joel Grimes, I did a little tonal contrast adjustment to the whole image.  If you haven’t been keeping up with Grimes’ work you should google him and see what he is up to.

Effortless Portrait Lighting

It is often the case that less is more when it comes to photographic lighting.  A case in point is this outdoor portrait of Sandra Natale done for a series of photos to help illustrate her Herbal LIfe promotions.  After shooting the expected traditional studio photos I brought her outside into the bright sun.  By shooting from the North side of the property I was able to keep the sun at her back.  I simply added a 4′ x 6′ Larson reflector to the right side of her face and this is the resulting photo.  Shot with a Nikon 70-200mm lens on aperture priority it was an easy task to make the background go out of focus and capture the beautiful back and rim light on my subject.  The Larson reflector was custom made for me providing a silver surface on one side and a bright white on the other.  Larson makes a great product and switching back and forth from silver to white is a quick process.  No strobes here.  Just used the KISS principal. (keep it simple, stupid)

Portrait Project / Zumbrella Shoot Thru Umbrella

Just finished an interesting magazine project on entrepreneurs.  During a declining economy these folks all seemed to be thriving thru good business practices and lots of hard work.  I really enjoyed shooting them and am looking forward to seeing the complete magazine piece published.

All photos for this project were taken on location using a shoot-thru umbrella for the key light (Alla David Zeiser – I use David’s Zumbrella) using small speed lights (Nikon SB-900s) for the light sources.  I love using at least one kicker or hair light to introduce the feeling of depth in my photos.  I like to think that the use of this extra light or two marks my portrait style, hopefully separating me a little from my competition.

If you would like more information on the Zumbrella go to Davids Blog http://digitalprotalk.blogspot.com/ and check out his resource tab.  Great photo advice as well.